The RPS Members’ Biennial Exhibition 2013


It is with much delight and pride that we announce that our wonderful photographer Rich Ellis has had not only one, but two images accepted into the Royal Photographic Society’s Members’ Biennial Exhibition 2013. This accomplishment is even more exciting when you realise that there are only 100 images in the exhibition and Rich’s entries were chosen from nearly 9,000 member submissions! 

The exhibition itself starts touring the country in February 2013 and begins at The Harlequin Centre in Watford. 

“I am honoured to have these images accepted in such a prestigious exhibition and to be considered amongst such esteemed company. The quality of the images accepted are outstanding and it is always good to know that the Judges think your work to be worthy of display” – Rich commented recently.

The two images accepted are posted below:


Nick Robinson-Baker, Olympic Diver, London 2012


Robert and His Meccano

 The image of GB Olympic Diver, Nick Robinson-Baker was taken as a prelude to the Olympics this year and the aim was to capture a slightly different image than the norm whilst still keeping the patriotism of the games alive. 

The image of local man “Robert” was shot earlier this year as part of Rich’s “An Englishman’s Home…” project. This project seeks to capture the diverse nature of UK men in their home environments. 

Rich again commented, “Both of these images are very different and produced for different reasons. Nick has become a personal friend and we wanted to produce a cool looking image that went with his fierce national loyalty. The photograph of Robert is much more documentary in its nature and aims to show how men in the UK live around their hobbies and passions. Robert is mad keen on Meccano and I thought the image provided an interesting insight into his personal world.”

We at Squash Imagery, a Chippenham based photographic company, are proud of our work and this just further enhances our reputation and capabilities in the commercial sector. 

Our congratulations go to Rich and all the contributors, finalists and Award winners of this wonderful exhibition. The link at the RPS Main website is here:



Tom Daley


Here below are our Top 6 most downloaded photographs of heart throb GB Diver Tom Daley from our website

Most of these images were shot while the team were warm weather training in Rome at their fantastic outdoor diving facility.



Editing – Post Processing


I see that yet again the issue of post processing of images continues to be under the microscope both in the news and on various photographic sites/forums. The former in the shape of another american catalogue further thinning an already ridiculously skinny model and a clothing manufacturer chopping arms off in catalogues etc.

The latter, ie the photography sites and forums, frankly, never cease to amaze me. There always seems to be some kind of snobbery surrounding ‘film’ and ‘darkroom’ photography to the point that any form of digital imaging is somehow inferior or easier. I find myself wondering why this might be. Is it that these hardy old souls wish desperately that things remained as they were? Or, are they simply jealous of the standard of photography that is now being produced via digital cameras and clever post processing? There seems to be an inherent attitude emanating from them that great images can be produced from bad photographs and that anything other than slaving over smelly toxic chemicals just isn’t cricket at all! Now this wouldn’t be a problem normally, each to their own and all that, but often, these individuals sit in very influential positions in the old photographic world. Even worse, they often put off young creatives and at best silence their less confident voices and at worst, drive youth and their ‘new fangled’ ways away from otherwise worthy and supportive environments.

Lets spend a second considering the approach and whether the argument has merit at all? Film photography (in its different guises) has indeed been around for well over a century. The process evolved slowly over this time but always resulted in either a high volume machine process or individual slaving over nasty chemicals in a darkroom that produced the final negative/slide or print. This meant that an individual photographer had very little control over the colour saturation, contrast or final overall effect produced, if the image was processed by an automated machine. A more controlled approach was to process the image yourself or at least ‘oversee’ the results.

The more skilled and talented ‘developers’ were able to manipulate images to quite some degree depending on the camera used and the ‘film’ the image was captured upon. Indeed, many of the world’s top professionals of the day would use sophisticated techniques to obtain the results they required. Words like hue, saturation, contrast, clone, dodge, burn, heal, blur, brush etc etc were all commonplace in a professional developers studio/darkroom. These techniques were sometimes used to produce ‘perfect’ images for advertising or to produce special artistic effects with ‘cross processed’ colours and other fashionable effects of the time.

Along came the digital revolution that transformed not only the speed of this development process but gave access to all forms of photographers, the ability to manipulate and enhance their own images without the need for specialist darkrooms and expensive chemicals and ‘enlargers’ etc. This revolution now allows photographers the world over to produce images that were both time consuming and difficult to achieve in the old film days. This includes specialist effects and also ‘blended’ or ‘composite’ images, those that combine more than one image into one. This flexibility isn’t easy to master and doesn’t come cheap. Photoshop, the industry standard processing tool, is currently in its 6th version and the full suite comes at a whopping £900+ in the UK. Cheaper versions are available but are more limited in their content and flexibility. On top of this, other software producers supply ‘plug-ins’ that offer instant effects based around certain criteria and range in price from £30 to over £300 themselves.

It is unarguable that digital manipulation is much easier than it used to be with film but it isn’t true to say that mastery of it is either easy or automatic. As always, and as with any art form, the skill is in selecting the shots that will look amazing and then transforming them in a way that is pleasing both to the viewer and the producer. This skill is one that is hard to teach and master. A bad photograph will likely remain a poor image with even the cleverest of digital trickery.

My over arching view of the debate over manipulation of images is that photography has forever been thus. Today it is quicker and easier to achieve. However, a great photograph is a great photograph. I am willing to like a digitally manipulated image as much as a film produced one, quite frankly, I don’t care how it is produced (other than educationally and out of pure interest) as long as it is a great image. If it works, it works. IPhone photography has as much relevance as the most expensive large format cameras on the market today.

Surely, it is the final image that is important.

The grumpy people that frequent these forums can take their jealousy and prejudices elsewhere. Maybe form their own narrow minded little clubs around the country.  Please, please do not put down the young and influenceable and drive them away from these otherwise very supportive and helpful forums or worse, make them feel that their take on photography is not relevant or important in this climate. Lets appreciate photography for what it is, an art form and nothing else. Each to his or her own and lets enjoy the medium collectively, whatever we think of any individuals output.